Carlene Carter and Tammy Faye Starlite Team Up For One Night Stand
Carlene Carter, described as the prodigal child of country music royalty -- she's the granddaughter of Mother Maybelle Carter of the original Carter Family, daughter of June Carter and country great Carl Smith and stepdaughter of Johnny Cash -- has been in the forefront of breaking the barriers between country music and rock since she broke out during the new wave music explosion of the late 70s. Her career and personal life weathered a series of ups and downs over the intervening years with brilliant albums recorded with the likes of Graham Parker, Clarence Clemons, Nick Lowe, Paul Carrack, Dave Edmunds, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers' Howie Epstein and others. She's circled back to her Carter Family roots in recent years and will be performing at Joe's Pub accompanying herself on autoharp and guitar with a keyboard player making for an intimate set of music and stories that she calls "a one-woman show with a sidekick." Of her current run of performance dates (scroll down), she notes, "I'm going to try to do something every night that I've never done before."
Carter's most recently released album, Stronger, garnered excellent press notices as well as praise from her peers. Of the album, Elvis Costello wrote, "It is astounding." Legendary lyricist Bernie Taupin called it "A staggering achievement by one of the great voices and fearless hearts of country rock."
Opening for Carlene is the inimitable Tammy Faye Starlight, the downtown provocateuse who most recently starred at Joe's Pub in Chelsea Mädchen, her portrayal of Nico, the glamorously decadent Velvet Underground chanteuse. An accomplished country vocalist, Starlight is best known for her portrayal of a godly country singer whose set list includes such trenchant tunes as "Miguided Magdalene," "God Has Lodged a Tenant in My Uterus," "Ride The Cotton Pony" and the classic "Did I Shave My Vagina For This?"
Of special note is the fact that Tammy Faye has performed the entirely of Carlene Carter's two Nick Lowe-produced album, Musical Shapes and Blue Nun in a tribute show of her own devising. Of her forthcoming pairing with Carlene at Joe's Pub, Tammy Faye remarked, "It's a surreal dream come true to be sharing the stage with this legend who has been such a huge influence. On some level, it's like the New York Dolls opening for the Rolling Stones."
Steve Earle, a longtime fan of Starlite's, commented, "Tammy is funnier every time I see her...She has kind of stumbled into greater relevance with what's happening in the world right now...Very powerful people have learned how to manipulate folks through faith and fear. Being absolutely irreverent is an important way to fight back."
Upcoming Carlene Carter performance dates: